Pickens' Son Accused Of Mismanaging Company

Feb 27 2013 | 11:33am ET

A former business associate has accused T. Boone Pickens' son of running a company into the ground while using it as his personal piggy bank.

Thomas Pickens III serves as CEO of commercial space products company Astrotech. But that company's former CFO complains that Pickens has run anything but a tight ship since taking over in 2007, and has misappropriated millions of dollars.

According to John Porter, Pickens forced Astrotech's main unit to make $10 million in loans and unauthorized transfers to subsidiaries in which Pickens owned substantial stakes. The more recent transfers amount to "nearly all of the company's profits," and Pickens moved the money "without even going to the trouble of drawing up paperwork for a sham loan or seeking approval from the board."

Porter also alleges that, "every month, Mr. Pickens charges tens of thousands of dollars to his company credit cards. Mr. Pickens' prodigious spending includes thousands of dollars for clothing, sports car tires and flights all over the world, including a $20,000 trip to a TED conference in California that had nothing to do with the aerospace industry."

In addition, Porter's lawsuit said, Pickens has essentially traded office space at Astrotech's headquarters for free golf with a friend.

"Every month, the company booked a receivable from Mr. Samouce and wrote it off the same day," the according to the complaint. "Mr. Pickens boasted that he never paid for rounds of gold at Austin Country Club because Mr. Samouce paid for all of his outings in exchange for free use of the company's offices."

Porter is seeking damages for breach of fiduciary duty, waste and usurpation of corporate opportunity. In addition to Pickens, Porter also sued five Astrotech directors.


In Depth

Exotic Assets: Investing In Rare Violins

Jan 17 2017 | 4:43pm ET

By definition, alternative investments include exotic assets far beyond your typical...

Lifestyle

'Tis the Season: Wall Street Holiday Parties Back In Fashion

Dec 22 2016 | 9:23pm ET

Spending on Wall Street holiday parties has largely returned to pre-2008 levels...

Guest Contributor

The Trump Administration: What It Could Mean for Carried Interest

Jan 19 2017 | 5:25pm ET

The arrival of the Trump administration brings the potential for a repeal of the...

 

From the current issue of

As initial anxiety over Donald Trump’s victory gave way to market euphoria in the days following the election, there was a casualty. Gold prices.